This easy cheese lasagna recipe makes a satisfying pasta dish, perfect for dinner. Plus, the leftovers are excellent for grab-and-go lunches!
I’ve been trying to think of a pithy start to this post. Something that ties together my childhood memories of my grandmother making lasagna when I’d snag cubes of mozzarella and spare noodles while she assembled it with this modern, cheesy version. But I can’t. Or maybe I won’t. This lasagna simply isn’t like my grandmother made.
I’ve nixed the meat because it makes the creation just a bit faster and easier. I’ve also traded that block of Polly Mozzarella cheese cut into cubes for shredded cheese, which is also so much easier.
At the same time, my ricotta mixture has been upgraded. While my grandmother’s was ricotta and egg — perhaps with some salt and pepper — I’ve added mozzarella and pecorino romano to the mix.
My proportions are different too.
One thing I have kept the same in this recipe: Cooking the noodles first. For years, I have used no-cook noodles that soften as they bake. But when you boil the noodles first, the texture is slightly better. So that’s what I recommend for this recipe.
Nonetheless, when baked up, this is a lasagna my kids love. And they especially love when it’s waiting in the fridge to be grabbed for lunch.
This cheese lasagna recipe combines three cheeses with a marinara with extra tomatoes and those delectable lasagne noodles for an easy, cheesy pasta dish. It’s simple but uses elevated ingredients that create a complexity of flavor that gets better with time.
In other words, it’s great hot from the oven, but even better as leftovers the next day.
It should be noted that making any lasagna recipe requires patience. Although the layering is generally easy, it can feel tedious. Spreading the ricotta mixture, in particular, is something to do with a deep breath and a light touch.
But once it’s layered, all that’s left is to bake it.
Then comes the best part: cutting it into squares and digging in. All that cheese with the tomato-y goodness is worth the effort to make it.
And the only thing better than lasagna for dinner is lasagna leftovers for lunches to come. So pack up what’s left in individual portions so you can grab them to take with you.
- 1 jar (24 oz) tomato basil marinara sauce
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (recommended: no salt)
- 15 oz. jar ricotta cheese
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 15 classic lasagne noodles, boiled according to package instructions
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the marinara sauce and diced tomatoes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of mozzarella cheese and romano cheese until well combined. Add the egg, salt and pepper. Break apart the yolk with a rubber spatula and then mix well to combine.
- Spread about 2 ladles of sauce around the bottom of a 9x13-inch glass baking pan. Place 3 cooked lasagne noodles, edge to edge, from the end of the pan down. Cut 1 additional noodle to 3/4 length and fit at the end of the pan. Top with half of the ricotta mixture, spread it over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.
- Spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the ricotta mixture. Place 3 cooked lasagne noodles, edge to edge, from the end of the pan down. Cut 1 additional noodle to 3/4 length and fit at the end of the pan. Top with remaining half of the ricotta mixture, spread it over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella.
- Spread 1/3 of the remaining sauce over the ricotta mixture. Place 3 cooked lasagne noodles, edge to edge, from the end of the pan down. Cut 1 additional noodle to 3/4 length and fit at the end of the pan. Top with remaining sauce. Spread the remaining 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese over top.
- Cover the pan with aluminum foil.
- Slide the pan into the oven and bake for 60 minutes. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is thoroughly melted.
- Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces.